MOVING THE IoT PAST THE MOBILE APP EXPERIENCE: Both the development and adoption of some consumer IoT devices have been slow so far. This is partly because IoT providers haven’t created many unique experiences optimized for these new devices. Instead, they are merely trying to force the traditional mobile app experience into devices that don’t always support the same kinds of interactions as a smartphone, Roman Kalantari, creative technologist at Fjord, a design studio owned by Accenture Interactive, said in a recent conversation with BI Intelligence.
This problem is particularly apparent in wearables apps like smartwatches, and in the connected car platforms from Apple and Google that simply move a bunch of mobile apps onto the car’s dashboard, Kalantari remarked. Surveys have shown that consumers are not using their connected features after purchasing new models because they’d rather access those services through their smartphone apps.
App developers and device manufacturers need to be more disciplined about what functions they put in IoT devices, John Jones, Fjord’s global SVP of design strategy, recommended. For example, trying to cram all of the functions of a smartphone app into a wearable doesn’t make sense because wearables have much smaller screens. The same is true for connected car apps, since putting too many functions in a crowded app can make it useless for someone who is preoccupied with driving.
Apps for IoT devices should instead focus on providing contextualized information for users, Jones suggested. For instance, Fjord helped design an Apple Watch app for financial advisors that synced with their calendar to send them relevant notifications for the next meeting on their calendar. Apps for IoT devices should also leave some functions up to the smartphone. Putting too much information up on a car’s dashboard is obviously distracting. It would be better to send information that isn’t immediately relevant to the driver’s phone so they could read it after they get out of the car. Once app developers and device manufacturers find more ways to create experiences tailored for IoT devices, consumers will likely find the devices themselves more useful and appealing.